The second round of Euro 2024 completed

The second round of Euro 2024 is now completed as the last matches were played yesterday. Despite many matches featuring slow pace and caution, we saw some truly excellent games. Here, we will review the groups and the conditions in each group before the final round and we will also take a closer look at the top scorers. Notably, after just two rounds, some teams have already secured their group victories while others have already been eliminated.

Xherdan Shaqiri - here in Liverpool
Swiss Xherdan Shaqiri scored a dream goal against Scotland

Group Standings

Below, we will go through each group, first reviewing the matches played in the second round and then assessing how the groups might end up.

Group A

Germany comfortably secured their second consecutive win against Hungary, beating them with 2-0. Although they didn't impress as much as in their first match against Scotland, they still appeared stable. Jamal Musiala scored in the 22nd minute, and Ilkay Gündogan added the second goal in the second half.

In the other match, Scotland and Switzerland drew 1-1. Scotland took the lead through Scott McTominay in the 11th minute, although it was considered an own goal by many and also officially was at first, and Xherdan Shaqiri equalized with a stunning volley a quarter of an hour later.

Already today, the final round of this group will be played, and Germany and Switzerland will compete for the group victory. Germany has six points compared to Switzerland's four, and a draw would suffice for Germany to win the group and for Switzerland to secure second place.

Hungary has zero points and Scotland one, but Hungary still has a chance to advance as one of the best third-placed teams if they win. Scotland can finish second in the group if they win, and Switzerland loses to Germany. A draw would mean Hungary is out, and Scotland is likely out as well, as two points are unlikely to be enough to advance as the best third-placed team.

Group B

Spain completely dominated Italy, and the fact that the final score was only 1-0 is incredibly flattering for Italy. The youngsters Pedri, Lamine Yamal, and especially Nico Williams constantly troubled the Italians. However, the match's only goal was an own goal by Italian defender Riccardo Calafiori after a cross from Nico Williams. Considering Spain's superiority against the reigning champions, they emerge as a strong candidate to win the Euros. However, it should be noted that the Italians were very weak with numerous misplaced passes.

The match between Croatia and Albania was very dramatic. Croatia was trailing 0-1 until the 74th minute when Andrej Kramaric equalized, and two minutes later, Albanian Klaus Gjasula scored an own goal, turning the game around for the Croatians in just two minutes. It looked like Croatia would win, but Gjasula redeemed himself and the team by scoring the equalizer in the 95th minute, marking Albania's first-ever point in a major tournament.

Spain has already secured the group victory as only Italy can match their points, and Spain has the head-to-head advantage. All other teams can finish second, making the group wide open. Spain is likely to rotate their squad, giving Albania a chance to win, but it is assumed they won't manage that anyway. Instead, Italy vs. Croatia is the key match. Italy will finish second with a win or a draw (assuming Albania doesn't win), but if Croatia wins, they will finish second instead.

Harry Kane, England
Harry Kane scored his first goal in the tournament

Group C

The first match in this group in the second round was a Balkan derby between Slovenia and Serbia, and it was thrilling until the end. Slovenia had a 1-0 lead after Zan Karnicnik scored in the 69th minute. Serbia pressed hard for an equalizer and in the match's final moment, Luka Jovic headed in the equalizer for a 1-1 draw.

The other match was between England and Denmark. The English were naturally favourites to win, but this match also ended 1-1 after Harry Kane initially gave England the lead and Morten Hjulmand equalized for Denmark, both goals in the first half. Notably, England does not seem as strong as expected; they appear very impotent. Despite having such talented offensive players, they fail to generate momentum in their attack, raising questions about whether England has been overrated.

Despite not impressing, England is in the driver's seat before the final round, but it is far from certain they will win the group. If they lose to the tough Slovenia and Denmark wins against Serbia, England will finish third, though they are likely to advance anyway as one of the best third-placed teams. All teams can advance with a win, but if England does not lose to Slovenia, the match between Denmark and Serbia will be highly dramatic. The winner will likely finish second, and if it's a draw, Denmark finishes second if Slovenia loses to England. If both matches end in a draw England will win it, and Denmark and Slovenia will be tied as second on points, goal difference, and goals scored, making fair play rules (fewest yellow and red cards) decisive.

Group D

First up in this group was Poland against Austria. Austria was the favourite given their fine performance against France, despite losing that match 0-1. Austrian centre-back Gernot Trauner scored the opening goal in the 9th minute, and although Krzysztof Piatek equalized after 30 minutes, Austria always seemed likely to win, which they also eventually did. Christoph Baumgartner made it 2-1 in the second half, and Marko Arnautovic extended the lead with a penalty in the 78th minute, giving Austria a well-deserved and fairly easy victory.

The evening match was the big clash between France and the Netherlands. Without super star Kylian Mbappé, who was rested due to his broken nose, the match was uncertain beforehand. It ended goalless and was very even, with France having a slight edge. The Dutch came closest to winning though as Xavi Simons scored, but the goal was disallowed due to Denzel Dumfries obstructing the goalkeeper in an offside position. Both teams played well and both remain contenders to go far in the tournament.

Poland is already eliminated with zero points, and both France and the Netherlands have four points. Austria, with three points, faces the Netherlands in the final match, while the French face the already-eliminated Poles. Assuming France wins against Poland, Austria vs. the Netherlands will be decisive for second place. If it's a draw, Austria will likely advance as one of the best third-placed teams with four points. Notably, the Dutch can also win the group on goal difference if they beat France.

Group E

In Group E, Slovakia first played Ukraine on Friday, producing a thrilling and dramatic match. Slovakia surprisingly won their first match against Belgium, and with Ukraine having lost their opener to Romania, they were desperate to win, which they also did, though narrowly. Ivan Schranz scored for Slovakia in the 17th minute, his second goal of the tournament. Ukraine pressed hard in the second half, equalizing through Mykola Shaparenko in the 54th minute and securing victory with Roman Yaremchuk's goal in the 80th minute.

Belgium played Romania last night, concluding the second round. Like Ukraine, Belgium came from a loss and needed a win. They appeared entirely different from their match against Slovakia, attacking in waves against Romania's solid defense. In the end Belgium won 2-0 with goals from Youri Tielemans and Kevin De Bruyne. It should also be mentioned that Romelu Lukaku had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside, his third disallowed goal in two matches. Also notable is that Romania was not bad, but Belgium was simply too strong in this match.

This group is extremely tight. All teams have three points, so each controls their destiny, with Romania facing Slovakia and Belgium against Ukraine in the final round. Romania has the best goal difference, followed by Belgium, so if both matches end in draws, these teams will finish first and second.

Group F

Georgia faced the Czech Republic, with both teams having lost their first matches. Unsurprisingly, this match ended in a 1-1 draw, a result both teams are likely satisfied with as both have a chance to advance now. The Czech Republic had a goal disallowed by VAR in the 22nd minute, and instead, Georgia took the lead with a penalty in stoppage time of the first half by Georges Mikautadze. The Czechs needed a goal to stay alive and logically pressed hard for it in the second half and did equalize through Patrik Schick in the 59th minute. The match was entertaining overall, with both teams playing offensively.

Portugal tried a different tactical lineup in their first match against Czech Republic, and despite winning by 2-1 they were weak. Against Turkey they reverted to their old lineup, and oh what effect it had. Portugal played a great match, creating many great chances and didn't let Turkey get into the game, eventually winning 3-0. One goal was a huge mistake by Samet Akaydin, who accidentally scored an own goal while trying to pass back to the goalkeeper. The Turks were weak compared to their first match against Georgia, but on the other hand, Portugal in good shape is a completely different opponent.

Portugal has secured the group victory as only Turkey can match them in points, and Portugal has the head-to-head advantage against them. Georgia must win against Portugal to advance, and their chance lies in Portugal rotating heavily since they have nothing to play for. However, Georgia is still unlikely to beat Portugal, making the Czech Republic vs. Turkey decisive. The winner will finish second (unless Georgia wins), and if it's a draw, Turkey takes second place (even if Georgia wins). This will be an uncertain and hopefully entertaining match, with the Czech Republic needing to attack to win.

Which teams have been the best?

Spain is the team that has improved its odds the most after their impressive performance against Italy, and Portugal also played very well. Germany has two very stable wins, although the energy from the home-field advantage and weak opponents might be a bit misleading. France has not impressed but has looked stable as well. England is the weakest of the favourites and needs to improve significantly to advance when the tough knockout matches begin. According to betting odds from major betting companies, all these five teams have similar odds of becoming champions, around five to seven times the money.

Outsiders are primarily the Netherlands and Belgium. The Netherlands have played two good matches, and Belgium showed a clear improvement against Romania compared to the first match against Slovakia. Among the smaller football nations, Austria have been looking most interesting based on the two matches played.

Jamal Musiala, Germany
Jamal Musiala - one of three players that have scored two goals so far in this tournament

Three players with two goals in the top scorer list

Despite now seeing 24 matches in this Euro, we still have not seen a single match where a player has scored two goals, but we have three players with two goals scored each: German Jamal Musiala, Slovakian Ivan Schranz, and Georgian Georges Mikautadze. Forty-eight different players have scored one goal each.

Among the favourites to win the Golden Boot title, we saw Harry Kane score his first goal of the tournament against Denmark. Other players among those considered most likely to win the top scorer title who have scored include Álvaro Morata, Bruno Fernandes, Cody Gakpo, Kai Havertz, and Jude Bellingham. Patrik Schick, who won the top scorer title in the last Euros together with Cristiano Ronaldo, has also scored his first goal.

Kylian Mbappé did not play in the second round, so he is still on zero goals, and the same goes for Romelu Lukaku (who, as mentioned, had three goals disallowed) and Cristiano Ronaldo, who did, however, assist on Bruno Fernandes' 3-0 goal. The hyped Ukrainian Artem Dovbyk has also gone goalless in two matches.


So far, we have seen some quite boring matches, but also some very good football. Now when the final round is about to start a lot of teams have a live-or-die situation, and we are likely to see more interesting football with more chances and more frustration and passion. A lot of great football to look forward to in other words but do note that each group plays their final matches at the same time in the final round so you can no longer see every game in the coming days.
Andrea Sugler has followed football his whole life and above all the Swedish national team. As Andrea lives in Stockholm, she sees most of the international matches on site, but has also been to most of the European Championships and World Cups in recent years when Sweden has participated, the first time already back in 1992 during the European Championship in Sweden. Andrea also likes to write about football and games, sometimes with successful results.